As the curtains begin to fall on 2020, India is all set to enter that period of the year when the economy witnesses the largest spurt in consumer spending – the festive season. But this year, there is a huge difference in the way Indians will shop.
There has been a fundamental shift in the shopping scenario due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Obviously, the winners are e-commerce players who were trying for years to break the emotional barrier hampering their growth. Indian buyers used to trust their local Kirana stores and supermarkets compared to an online marketplace. But the imminent risks of going out of their homes has made several Indians move to online channels for their shopping needs.
This is why the urban online shopping population has skyrocketed to 42 % of all active internet users in the country, growing by 50% in just the last 3 months.
As the economy is slowly picking up pace, brands across sectors are gearing up for the upcoming festive season. So is the push to get out the most innovative advertising and marketing campaigns to win customers’ hearts.
But with the change in consumer sentiments due to the pandemic, how can Indian brands approach this upcoming festive season more impactfully to improve their returns on marketing and advertising campaigns?
As with all sectors, technology will be the key differentiator in improving ROI on Indian brands’ marketing spending this festive season as they aspire to reach more prospective customers with limited marketing budgets.
Let’s look at the top 4 opportunities where brands can focus on winning customer attention through advertising (with a little help from technology):
Investing more in digital marketing
Social media and the internet are the new playgrounds for advertisers and marketers to push out their campaigns faster and ensure more outreach than traditional forms of print or tv ads. India’s digital ad spend grew 26% in 2019 according to studies. Social media commanded a leading 28% of these spends. With the pandemic creating scope for even more internet time for a wide category of consumers for their daily needs, brands can focus on investing in a strategic digital marketing roadmap, which includes selecting the best technology solutions to help create better campaigns on different internet media.
Leverage mobile programmatic ads:
While programmatic advertising has been a mainstay among Indian brands for quite a while now, there is a need to push this to the next level with mobile programmatic ads. This will help brands build better ad-inventory tailored for mobile screens and apps that allow digital advertising. India’s large growth in internet usage is fueled by the rising usage of smartphones amongst various age groups and aspirants. Hence creating mobile-friendly advertisement campaigns is a must for Indian brands if they are to beat the competition.
Increase audience coverage for campaigns
For marketing campaigns to be successful, it is important to scale up their coverage and carry a brand’s message to more people in the target audience. However, to achieve this, brands need to scale up the number of channels they target and push more content into newer channels that promise more potential leads. Managing omnichannel strategies is not easy. They need to rely on using proprietary technology and to partner with 3rd party networks for content promotion. Obviously, the content created needs to be tailored according to the preferences of potential leads from these channels. With state of the art AdTech, brands can gain a deeper understanding of the target audience across 3rd party sites and networks and relay messages in the required formats for faster results from these campaigns.
Use big data analytics for ad personalization.
With digital advertising, Indian consumers too have become more interested in personalized content delivered to them, even if this is in the form of ads according to their preferences and interests. Brands need to leverage the power of big data analytics to create new data models and recommendation engines to help propel advertisement content with elements of personalization driven by the end consumer interest. Some key examples of roaring success with such a data-driven model are Netflix and Amazon, who now dominate the Indian market in their respective sectors. They both roll out personalized recommendations to buyers based on their past browsing and purchase history. Sophisticated models factor in geographic, demographic, and other emotional sentiment considerations in their data modeling and insight generation processes for targeted ads.
The festive season of 2020 will be decisive for India’s economy and retail and consumer good players. This season will create an opportunity for accelerated returns and a return to financial health. Indian brands need to use technology to create more meaningful consumer messaging and ad campaigns to capitalize on the large online population. This will be the driving force behind online sales success this festive season.